Xavi Hernández is set for his 750th appearance for Barcelona and has revealed his delight at so many years of prominence with the club.
After joining the Barcelona youth system at La Masia in 1991, it didn't take long for Xavi Hernández to get himself noticed. Following 25 years at the Catalan club and as captain, though the former Spain international may be in the twilight of his illustrious career he's still very much an important figure and a leading example in the modern game.
During an insightful interview with the official FC Barcelona website, Xavi gave an interesting look at how he started out as a defensive midfielder, and then manager Frank Rijkaard suggested a more advanced role, before he made his debut as a 17-year-old. He also stated his enjoyment at having been with the club so long, the highs of being part of a marvellous generation of players with the club, the lows of injuries and the responsibilities of now being a senior player and team leader.
If he features against Eibar at Ipurua this weekend in La Liga, it will be a landmark 750th Barcelona appearance for Xavi. It's certainly been a long, illustrious and trophy laden career for the player, who perhaps indicated best what the club means to him, with the following words:
"I'm very happy I didn't leave this year, that I could continue playing games, be useful and competitive for Barça. Looking back, I've been here many years, enjoying unique and magical experiences at the club of my life."
Xavi ultimately rejected a much talked about move to New York City FC in the MLS last summer, as reported by TalkSPORT, but speculation still remains that he could join them this summer, while there are also believed to be options in Qatar. Wherever he chooses to play out the final days of his career, he'll be fondly remembered as one of the best midfielders in world football, of his generation.